Bernie Sanders calls for Israel to stop killing ‘innocent men, women and children’ – but rejects ceasefire

Mr Sanders said the killing of ‘innocent men, women and children’ must end

Michelle Del Rey
Tuesday 07 November 2023 21:25 GMT
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New York protesters call for ceasefire in Gaza

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Bernie Sanders, the independent US senator from Vermont, has spoken out against the killing of civilians in the Gaza Strip but has not called for a complete ceasefire, which he said hemay not be possible under Hamas.

Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Mr Sanders asserted that Israel, which was attacked a month ago by Hamas, had a right to defend itself.

“What Israel does not, in my view, have a right to do, is to kill thousands and thousands of innocent men, women and children who had nothing to do with the attack,” he said. “We have to stop the bombing now.”

It’s estimated that over 10,000 people have died in Gaza since the war began. According to UN data, about 1.5 million people have been displaced internally. Food and water in the region remain scarce.

The war began after Hamas launched a series of surprise attacks in Israeli towns, communities and at the Nova music festival, resulting in the deaths of about 1,300 people. Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, referred to the assault as Israel’s “9/11.”

Activists and politicians have called for a ceasefire, citing humanitarian concerns over the deaths of civilians, a violation of the Geneva Convention.

Mr Sanders said he was unsure how a permanent ceasefire would work when dealing with Hamas, an organisation “dedicated to turmoil and chaos and destroying the state of Israel,” he said.

A majority of Americans currently support a ceasefire, according to a survey conducted by Data for Progress, a think tank.

Mr Sanders’ position is similar to that of President Joe Biden, who has also called for a pause in the bombing, but has stopped short of advocating for a permanent ceasefire.

Last week, US Senator Dick Durbin became the first senator to call for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Previously, 13 House Democrats voiced their support for an immediate ceasefire.

Mr Sanders said what’s needed now is a two-state solution to the crisis and for “the world to come together to give hope to the Palestinans.”

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